news 3 days ago

White Haven chamber gets $5K in donations for food gift certificates

Standard-Speaker, Hazleton, Pa. — Amanda Christman Standard-Speaker, Hazleton, Pa.

May 23-- May 23--The White Haven area was taking care of its neighbors through the pandemic.

After seeking out donations since mid-April, the Greater White Haven Chamber of Commerce amassed $5,020 from donors which was used to purchase gift certificates for the White Haven Market.

Those certificates were mailed to area residents who found themselves underemployed or unemployed because of the new coronavirus pandemic, said chamber President Linda Miller.

It made more sense to give out the food vouchers than to load vehicles with groceries at a food drive, said Miller.

Chamber members realized a lot of people were facing financial difficulty because of the pandemic -- among them were some of their own members who had businesses close under Gov. Tom Wolf's stay-at-home orders.

"If you are laid off, or your business closed, you are affected," Miller said.

So far the money helped buy 185 gift certificates that were sent to 65 families or businesses, giving them some relief from the financial stress created by COVID-19.

"Our chamber is standing by these people."

They spread word of their undertaking on social media, through their own chamber members, website, The Journal Herald and by word of mouth.

Donations came in but so did the list of those who qualified for some relief in and around White Haven borough, to include East Side borough, the White Haven Poconos development, Penn Lake borough, Foster Twp. and Weatherly. The chamber reaches into each of those communities.

People in need never had to offer their name, only submit their address and how many people were in their household.

Miller said none of this could have been done without the help of "gracious" sponsors who stepped in to take care of the people in the community.

Among them are Atlantic Broadband, IntegriTec Inc., White Water Challengers, Murphy Lumber, Powerhouse, White Haven Market, JH Quinn LLC and White Haven Veterinary Hospital.

In addition to the chamber certificates, Antonio's Pizza in White Haven donated several certificates to give extra for families with children, Miller said.

"The businesses were wonderful, they were great supporters," she said.

Sponsorships for the food certificates initially went out to businesses "and then all of a sudden all these families came through," said Miller.

Donations also came from the Hudock, Lachette, Veneroso, Schnaltmann, Salsman, Zimmerman, Jarick Earnhart, Barton, Perch, Hayes, Keisal, Lower, Shahbazian, Salerno and Troell families and anonymous donors.

"It was a heart-swelling experience," she said.

There were also a host of people helping with the effort behind the scenes.

"These people care, the neighbors care," Miller said.

The project will continue until the money runs out.

To donate, checks can be sent to Greater White Haven Chamber of Commerce, or GWHCC, at 408 Main St., White Haven, PA 18661.

People financially affected by the pandemic can text or call Miller at 570-582-9934 to receive a certificate.

Contact the writer:; 570-501-3584


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